Since I completed the first draft of Frigid Nights, I’ve taken a break from writing novels and stories. It was odd not feeling compelled to work on a novel every day for the first time in months. Typically, I have a nagging feeling that I should be working on my novel or story but since I’d completed it, it was like a nice vacation. Although I did write blogs and articles and will continue to do so, they were all I worked on. It was nice not having that nagging feeling for a bit but I’m already itching to get back to work on another story.
I’m going to write some short stories for a while. I’m going to work on some character and plot development. One thing that can catch you up in writing a novel is just wanting to get the first draft done so you may end up sacrificing some chances for great writing for writing that just gets you through the draft and hoping you can improve when you go to edit. Short stories allow you to take your time and get that great writing out because with them being shorter, you don’t need to have a long attention span. You work really hard for a short period of time, like a sprint, and you get some great words on the page. If a short story is a sprint with a lot of effort throughout, a novel is a marathon where at some points you’re running your best and most efficient and at other points, you’re just trying to stay in the race. It’s all part of the game.
Another upside of short stories is you can experience with different genres and themes. You can write a horror story that you’ve always wanted to try without having to dedicate yourself to months of writing a horror plot only to find out you don’t like writing it or can’t do it very well. You can write emotional and captivating plots that have great character and plot development. They can also be great stand-alone works or practice for novels.
Almost every major author has written short stories along with their novels. Their novels get better coverage because they can be mass marketed best-sellers and turned into movies, but short stories don’t have the length of a movie (unless it’s like “The Body” by Stephen King which turned into the movie “Stand By Me”) and it can be difficult to make a short story marketable in book form as the length typically doesn’t qualify the costs to print and sell it. However, taking numerous completed short stories and compiling them into a book has been very successful. Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and many other authors have seen success from compiling short stories and publishing them together. I have quite a few short stories written but would need quite a few more before I could consider compiling them into a book. I hope that this time after finishing a novel before finding a plot for my next one will allow me to write these short stories, develop as a writer, and give a little more content for my readers to enjoy.